South Cambs constituency boundary changes: MP Heidi Allen urges people to back counter proposal in bid to stop villages going to North East Herts
PUBLISHED: 08:31 10 March 2017
MP Heidi Allen is urging people to back her counter proposal to the Boundary Commission for England in a bid to retain the South Cambs villages threatened with constituency changes.
The changes are a result of a Parliament decision to reduce the 650 UK constituencies to 600 and make the number of electors in each constituency equal.
Mrs Allen wrote to deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for England Mrs Justice Patterson DBE to submit her proposals, and is asking constituents for their support during the second consultation period – which started on February 28.
“I’m delighted that so many of my affected constituents took the time to submit their feedback to phase one of the consultation which is shown by the multitude of green dots on the Boundary Commission map,” the South Cambs MP said.
“I’m now asking people to log back on and support my counter proposal. If we demonstrate support for this, we stand more chance of staying together!”
Under the commission’s proposals, Mrs Allen would lose Bassingbourn, Melbourn, the Mordens, Shingay, Whaddon, Abington Piggots and Tadlow – as well surrounding areas – which would all become part of MP Sir Oliver Heald’s North East Herts constituency.
In her letter, she said: “South Cambs constituents have the benefit of services provided by Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambs
District Council and tell me that they feel no connection to Hertfordshire or the local authorities therein.
“Their life would in fact become much more difficult as they would continue to pay their local taxes to a Cambridgeshire authority while falling under the scope of a Hertfordshire MP.
“In my experience, much of my work for these villages relies on the local bonds and connections forged between myself and my local authorities. To strip this away makes their representations at a local and national level much more difficult.”
Mrs Allen said she drew up the counter proposal, which affects five constituencies in total and includes South Cambs losing the three wards proposed by the BCE – Gransden and the Offords, Fulbourn, and Linton, and in turn, retaining The Mordens, Bassingbourn, and Melbourn.
Mrs Allen said: “I know that the Boundary Commission is tasked with distributing constituencies evenly across regions and they were very specific about the need to consider the bigger picture. With this in mind, I drew up a counter proposal that not only supports me retaining my southern villages but considers the impact of this on all other eastern region constituencies. If people can support this proposal, we have a stronger chance of success.”
The consultation closes on March 27, after which the Boundary Commission will publish its eastern region report detailing whether revisions to initial suggestions should be made.
Go to www.bce2018.org.uk to submit your views, and use Mrs Allen’s constituency office postcode CB23 7QJ – clicking on the relevant yellow dot – to read the counter proposal in full.